6 fresh ways to market your small business

Today’s evolving business climate demands that a business continue to inject fresh ways of marketing its products and services. However, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel each time. Sometimes, staying fresh can be as simple as tweaking ideas and adjusting the mechanics based on feedback from customers and partners. Here are six ways to energize your marketing efforts.

1. Leverage the video era

Video puts across a solid promotional message. Take the example of Artificial Plants, a company that offers indoor and outdoor décor. They use short videos to help bring their message across.

The same holds true for Carnival Info. Co-founders Gordon Henry and Rudo Morrison believe that video promotions offer more longevity than other advertising strategies.

In 2017, a HubSpot Content Trends Survey backed this up when it showed that over 60% of consumers paid attention to video content. Out of those that use video, 82% of businesses believe that video gives them good ROI.

However, before planning and creating content, think about your current customers, social media followers and target market. Use analytics tools to figure out what matters to them. For example, if customers are talking about quinoa, customize the video and blog content that addresses that topic: create how-to cooking videos and blog posts that feature quinoa as the main ingredient to reflect your audience’s interests.

 

 

2. Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is the art of finding people that are credible in your industry or area of focus and already have large audiences. Identify 25-50 influential people in your target market, vertical, and/or category. As you grow your own brand’s awareness, do all you can to increase the credibility, recognition, and relevance of these influencers. Promoting a community of influencers will help create a ripple effect of awareness within the community.

One tool you can use is Buzzstream’s Discovery tool which quickly helps you find the most influential people in a specific area of interest. Sometimes, the best way to get more recognition is to just get the word out about your product or service to people who can help spread the word.

“Build the right relationships with the right people and nurture them over time and you’ll always have a leg up on the competition.”

Paul May, CEO and co-founder, Buzzstream.

3. Cause marketing

Invest an hour or so looking at the social media postings of a sample of your target market. Listen to what they are saying. Identify what your customers care about and the causes they support. Couple this information with your own brand values to build a strategy that adds value to their lives and the community at large.

Use a social listening tool such as Brandwatch, which helps businesses track millions of conversations all over the web in real time. Easily monitor the key topics people care about, the most popular links they share, influencers they engage with, their demographics details and much more.

4. Use a customer persona quiz

Customers own your brand. When you understand their biggest issues and put significant marketing efforts behind solutions to their problems, they take notice. Focus on segmenting the characteristics, needs, and traits of your leads in a specialized persona-focused survey. The backbone of your marketing strategy should be focused on finding specific angles for marketing offers, the keyword phrases that your consumers use, and hidden product features and benefits.

Chris Gadek, Head of Technical Growth & Marketing at Eden, outlines how to create a quiz that is a profiling exercise for incoming leads as well as a secret weapon that you can use to identify the biggest opportunities for your brand to connect with your consumers.

We knew that our customers own our brand. We kept learning about how customers felt about our company and used those insights to build our brand awareness … and doubled MRR [monthly recurring revenue] in the process.

5. Consumer surveys

If you want to know what your customers want, ask. Use surveys to ask customers questions for that which matters the most. Such surveys will reveal responses to your most burning questions.

Look for evidence of what is not working.

Google Surveys makes it really easy for marketers and entrepreneurs to create and run surveys starting from 10¢ per response. Start with a non-targeted survey and then ask increasingly complex questions using screening and targeting options. When you understand how your customers feel about your products and services, you will be able to create a new opportunity to effectively deliver targeted messages to them.

6. Infographics

Infographics are a great way to explain a topic, or provide information in a fun and interesting way. They make a dense amount of information visually appealing so that more people absorb it. These can go viral quickly on the web via social media shares, media outlet exposure, and infographic directories. If your website has a blog, liven it up with an occasional infographic.

If you are not design-oriented, use a tool like Piktochart to easily create visually appealing infographics.

Get up close and personal with your customers and solidify connections. The more information you acquire, the better. What worked in the past may not work tomorrow. What failed before may work today. Be curious as to what could be and tweak when things don’t go as planned.

22-year veteran of strategy: brand, business, organizational, communications. Certified in project management and regulatory compliance. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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